Flood Planning Meetings, Comments

Flooding Begins on the Land

June 2, 2021

The technical and executive committees of the San Jacinto Regional Flood Planning Group are meeting Thursday morning and Friday afternoon. The San Jacinto river basin includes Buffalo Bayou and many other tributaries and major streams. It extends from Galveston to Huntsville, from Sugarland to Winnie.

These committees and our regional flood planning group are responsible for developing flood reduction and protection projects to be funded by the Texas Water Development Board. The deadline to deliver the draft regional flood plan to the board is Aug. 1, 2022.

The technical committee, which consists of four voting members of the group, meets at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 3. You can join the virtual meeting by registering here. You can also register with that link to make public comments or send in comments before or after the meeting.

Save Buffalo Bayou sent in a comment asking for clarification on the purpose of the technical committee. The regional group has selected technical consultants headed by Freese and Nichols to assist the planning.

The executive committee of the regional group, known as Region 6, meets on Friday, June 4, at 1 p.m. You can join that virtual meeting, register to make a public comment, or send in comments using this link.

The agenda for the executive committee meeting includes discussion of recommendations for new voting members on the committee to represent the Upper Watershed and Environmental Interests. The committee recently selected Galveston City Manager Brian Maxwell for the new Coastal Communities position and Christina Quintero for the Public Position.

Save Buffalo Bayou’s Comment

Save Buffalo Bayou sent in a general comment to both committees emphasizing that the focus of flood-risk and floodplain management should be on stopping stormwaters before they flood our streams. And while riverine flooding is only one aspect of our regional and state flooding problem, the goal of collecting as much stormwater as possible and moving it as quickly as possible is outdated, ineffective, and should be dropped. Enlightened practice focuses on managing flooding in place, stopping raindrops where they fall, and spreading out, slowing down, and soaking in the rain.

As a 2018 study of urban flooding reported, “[m]any cities and towns across the United States are giving considerable attention to plans that support the capture of rain in areas where it falls.” (p. 32)

We hope that the technical committee and the San Jacinto Regional Group will address the role of individuals, neighborhoods, homeowners’ associations, businesses, communities, cities and counties in reducing flood risk. Shared policies and strategies should be developed explaining, encouraging, even requiring responsible stormwater management from rooftops to parking lots.

Read the rest of Save Buffalo Bayou’s comment to the San Jacinto Regional Flood Planning Group.

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